At a ceremony following the Port Washington Memorial Day Parade, Commander John Fiore of Port Washington’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Henderson-Marino Post 1819 opened the event with a reading of the first three stanzas of taps, and a reflection on the year past.
“We are not poets, nor philosophers, just average Americans saddened by war and tragedy,” Fiore said. “We at the VFW, the American Legion and all military groups support our nation and the values of liberty and freedom it represents. We express our deepest sympathies to the families of the fallen. May we all know peace in the coming days and years, and have strength and courage to pursue it. May we continue to pass along to generations that come a remembrance of days like these.”
State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck) and Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti (D-Port Washington) also attended the event.
Sillitti described being at the event a “special” occasion. “Thank you for allowing me to be a part of all the celebrations around the district,” she said Monday. “I hope everyone had a meaningful and safe Memorial Day weekend.”
“This Memorial Day, we pause to honor and remember the brave heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our great nation, protecting our dearly held freedoms,” Kaplan said. “Thank you to all those who have served, and may you and your family have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day.”
The parade’s grand marshal was Dr. Paul A. Hamlin, a decorated Vietnam veteran and retired medical doctor. In 1968, after Hamlin completed his medical internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital, he enlisted in the Air Force.
From August 1968 to July 1969, Hamlin served as a general medical officer and chief of pharmacy service at Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star for his leadership and devotion to duty.
In 1969, he returned to this country and finished his military tour at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. A year later, he resumed his medical education at New York Medical College and Metropolitan Hospital as a resident and chief resident with a subspeciality in pulmonology. He went on to have a private group practice in Great Neck for 45 years. He was also an attending physician at North Shore University Hospital.
Hamlin and his wife, Jane, have been married for 54 years, with two children and five grandchildren.
The Village of New Hyde Park held a car parade on Saturday, which started at 9:30 a.m. on the southbound lane of Hillside Boulevard. Cars traveled to Village Hall at 10 a.m. for a wreath-laying ceremony. After the ceremony, the parade proceeded to Memorial Park where a full ceremony was held.
Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) and Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) attended and shared their thoughts on the event and the meaning of Memorial Day.
The Town of North Hempstead postponed its Memorial Day weekend fireworks show, a drive-in commemoration slated to take place Saturday at North Hempstead Beach Park, because of strong winds and heavy rain in the forecast, officials said.
The rescheduled event will be held over Labor Day weekend on Saturday, Sept. 4, also at North Hempstead Beach Park, according to the town.